America's biggest challenges may be energy independence and global warming. At the root of both problems is unlimited growth. Will new and better technologies allow that growth to continue or will survival require that Americans change their habits and their states of mind? Also, recalls rock the retail market for children's toys ths holiday season, and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is unavoidable at this time of year. But the biggest success in Columbia Records history almost didn't get made.
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It's been a seasonal hit for almost 60 years, but the biggest hit in the history of Columbia Records almost didn't get made. It was 1949, Gene Autrey was hung over and the record company president was threatening to cancel the session. It was costing him money, and he thought it would be a waste of time anyway. Finally, after a couple of false starts, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was recorded on the third take. Rudolph took off. So did Autry and the producer. Hecky Krasnow's biography has now been written by his daughter, Judy Gail Krasnow and it's called Rudolph, Frosty and Captain Kangaroo.
Judy Gail Krasnow, Storyteller, musician and author
America's continuing drive for material well-being has made it the world's colossus, but it may also contain the seeds of destruction. That sounds like fire-and-brimstone preaching, but it's also a warning from pragmatic experts on energy independence and global warming. Will unlimited economic growth be the undoing—not just of America, but the rest of the world? Could the US replace disposable luxury with quality and longevity?
Millions of recalls rocked the toy business last summer and fall, leading to dire predictions about the Christmas season. Now that it's upon us, are parents choosing safety above all or giving into their children's demands. Nicholas Casey writes for the Wall Street Journal.